Delonte West & LeBron James’ Mom Photoshops..Lesson On Responsible Blogging – BlackSportsOnline
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Delonte West & LeBron James’ Mom Photoshops..Lesson On Responsible Blogging

My good friend Jerod Morris from Midwest Sports Fans (great site by the way) was the first to hit me up with the whole Delonte West & LeBron James’ mom rumor before it caught fire.

I knew as soon as I saw it that it was going to be a problem so I instructed all the BSO writers not to speak on it until I had enough time to investigate what was going on.

In essence what I found out was that someone’s uncle allegedly had inside information and the site who ran the story as an “exclusive” thought that was enough evidence.  Next thing you know everyone had “inside” information and it was all over the internet.  One person even claimed David Stern was aware of it.

For the few of you who actually thought this was true let me tell you a little secret.

Shhhhhhhhhh… come closer.

This is actually just a twist on an old “Urban Legend;” after a particularly bad loss, the legend goes that a player has been found out to have slept with another player, coach or owners’ wife or girlfriend.

These have popped up for years on various sites and every time people fall for it.  The source is always a “well placed” person in the organization who doesn’t have a name.  There is never any evidence of the claims besides the unnamed source who doesn’t exist.

The difference between all those other stories and this one is people actually ran with this story like it was real because in 2010 the truth is secondary to the gossip.

I have multiple “real” sources in the media who have done investigations on this claim and it has proven to be false.

When you guys are ready to wake up from Pandora let me know so I can unplug you.

As any high profile sports or entertainment blogger will tell you, we get people telling us all types of crazy things all the time.  Some of it is legit, some of it is unusual, and some of it is borderline criminal.

I have a simple set of rules in regards to posting these types of stories.  I need some evidence or the person who is making the claims has to go public before I will post the story.

There is a story that I have been sitting on for months about Tim Tebow that would have me on ESPN by Monday morning.  I am 99% sure it is true and I believe the source.  But I have nothing to back up the story besides the source and the source doesn’t want to go public, so the story will sit.

The point I am trying to make is you have to have some journalistic morals even if you are running a blog.  The reason people respect TMZ.com more than MediaTakeOut.com is because TMZ.com backs up their stories whereas MediaTakeOut.com just posts whatever without even checking to see if it is true or not.

If you are a young blogger or journalist, just ask yourself; is your reputation worth a few thousand page views?

It doesn’t matter if Delonte West is playing “BedGammon” with LeBron’s mom true or not.  What matters is before you make that type of accusation you need to be able to back it up with something better than “my uncle told me.”

The gift and the curse of being in online media is that anyone can get involved.  You don’t need to submit a resume to start a sports website or gossip blog.

But in the immortal words of Uncle Ben from Spider-Man:

WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

Just something to think about while you are enjoying the photoshops.



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